One of the most common questions we get about tiny homes is “where do you park it”?
For most tiny dwellers that really is the million-dollar question, as finding parking for your tiny home can actually be a bit of a struggle.
Many cities block people from living in tiny homes and RVs within their borders, and not everyone has the luxury of living out in the wilderness.
Thankfully, there are a ton of resources available to help you find quality tiny house parking. Here are 4 of the best places to park and some cool resources to find more in your area.
Tiny House Parking Option #1: RV Parks and Campgrounds
One of the most commonly used resources for tiny house parking are RV parks and campgrounds. This is especially relevant if your tiny home was built to RVIA specifications.
Lots of RV parks offer long-term rentals, allowing you to live in your tiny home near where you work. Just make sure you call ahead and ask if they accept tiny homes. A lot of RV parks are coming around to the tiny house movement, but many still refuse to service tiny homes.
Campgrounds are another good option, especially if you’re traveling in your tiny home. Many offer full hookups plus a range of other fun amenities. One thing to keep in mind though is that a lot of campgrounds have pretty strict limits on how long you can stay there.
Finding Campgrounds While Traveling
If you’re in your home city, you probably have a pretty good idea of what campgrounds are available to you. Once you hit the road with your THOWs, it’s a different story.
Google Maps is a great resource for finding paid campgrounds and things like state and national parks, but complicates things when looking for longer-term campgrounds and especially free campgrounds.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found several awesome websites and apps that help you find all kinds of camping located just about anywhere. Some of my favorites include:
They each offer mostly the same service, but some are better than others for specific needs. Campendium was my go-to for planning and plotting a trip. It has an easy-to-use interface and legitimately lists almost every campsite out there.
Ultimate Campgrounds was similar to Campendium and offered a really useful app. There is a small fee to download and use it, but in my opinion, it’s worth every penny. I can’t tell you the number of times I pulled up the UC Public Campgrounds app to find a local campsite as I was pulling into an area.
HipCamp offers a more comprehensive search and booking system. You can find tons of cool campgrounds and make reservations right from their site. It’s a great way to plan out a tiny trip if you like to have all your ducks in a row right at the beginning.
AllStays offered the biggest range of features across their various apps. You can find overnight parking at a Walmart or beautiful tiny-friendly RV park.
Tiny House Parking Option #2: Federal Land
Federal land makes up 28% of the landmass of the United States. That’s fully 640 million acres owned and managed by the federal government.
What’s great from the perspective of a tiny dweller is that much of that federal land is open to what’s called ‘dispersed camping’. This allows you to park and camp completely for free in undeveloped sections of certain federal lands.
National Forest and BLM lands are those that most commonly allow this. They’re found all over the U.S., though the majority are focused in the West.
For tiny dwellers who want to experience the wildest parts of America, dispersed camping can be one of the best ways to do it. It allows you to go to beautiful and rugged places without having to worry about paying for parking.
Don’t just drive out to your nearest unattended forest and set up camp though. I highly recommend you find a ranger station or BLM office to ask them for recommendations. They’re more than happy to tell you the best spots to set up for a week or two.
Tiny House Parking Option #3: Cities That Allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
ADUs have been around for a long time, but it’s only recently that they’ve gotten a lot of attention. ADUs are small stand-alone dwellings located on a property that already has another main dwelling on it.
What’s really cool about ADUs is that some places accept tiny homes as an ADU. This allows you to rent out someone’s driveway or backyard to live inside a hip city.
Where it’s allowed, it’s a win-win for everyone involved. You get a convenient place to park and live in your tiny house and they get a steady stream of income without having to worry about standard landlord stuff like maintenance.
Here’s one of my favorite resources that helps break down ADU rules and regulations on a city by city basis.
Tiny House Parking Option #4: Tiny House Communities
As the tiny house movement continues to grow, more and more tiny house communities are being formed. These are places built for tiny dwellers by tiny dwellers. They offer some really cool amenities and features that really help make tiny life more enjoyable.
Even better, there are some located in a bunch of really cool places.
Check out my full writeup on tiny house communities to learn more about them and find 10 awesome tiny communities that are already up and running.
Tiny House Meetups, Forums, and Maps
One of the absolute best resources for finding tiny house parking is other people living the tiny life. Forums and community hosted maps offer some great places to camp and live permanently in your tiny home.
Local tiny house Meetup groups are a great way to get hyper-local information. You’d be surprised how many different tiny house groups and events are taking place in your local area. There’s a good chance someone will know someone with a tiny friendly space available to rent or be able to point you in the direction of a tiny-friendly RV park.
You should also try your luck in places like Nextdoor and even Craigslist. It gets a bad rap, but I’ve seen plenty of listings on both of people either looking for a place to park a tiny home or offering up a backyard or driveway as tiny home parking.
Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box
As long as you’re willing to put in a little legwork, it’s a lot easier than you’d think to find tiny house parking. There are tons of resources available to you and plenty of beautiful places that allow tiny homes.
Looking for a more permanent place to live in your tiny home?
Check out our full article on finding and buying land for a tiny house.